Although many people abroad think of Canada as a new country with little to no culture, Canadians are culture-oriented and the capital, Ottawa, has a wide range of museums.
The National Gallery of Canada is located near Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa. It was founded in 1880, making it one of Canada's oldest cultural institutions. Ideal for lovers of paintings, sculptures and decorative art, the National Gallery of Canada is also home to the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. Special exhibitions are held all year round and change every three to six months. The Canadian Museum of History (previously known as the Canadian Museum of Civilization) is located across the Ottawa River. It has the largest indoor collection of totems and traces 1,000 years of Canadian history. It is considered the most popular museum in the country. The Canadian Museum of History covers many themes through special exhibitions, and it includes the Canadian Postal Museum, the Canadian Children's Museum and an IMAX Theater.
The Canadian Museum of Nature is a 20-minute walk from the city center. Hosted in a heritage building, this is the place to discover all the animals of Canada and to see fossils and skeletons dating from 85 to 65 million years ago. There is a discovery area for children and temporary exhibitions on the theme of nature. There are real size dinosaurs and mammoths as well as the fossilized dinosaur footprint dating back over 110 million years ago.
The Canada Aviation and Space Museum is located east of the city center along the Ottawa River. The Canada Aviation and Space Museum houses nearly 50 aircraft from around the world, covering the full history of aviation (both civilian and military). The Aviation Museum looks like a giant hangar and shares its space with the Rockcliffe Airport and is adjacent to a Canadian Airforces Base. During the spring and summer, it is possible to fly over the capital aboard an open cockpit biplane or helicopter. Finally, workshops on the theme of aviation are offered to children.
The Bytown Museum is located in Ottawa's oldest stone building in the heart of downtown, adjacent to the locks that connect the Rideau Canal to the Ottawa River. The Bytown Museum bears the original name of Ottawa in honor of Lieutenant-Colonel John By who oversaw the construction of the Rideau Canal. The museum traces the history of Bytown's construction as a lumberjack town to its transformation into Ottawa, Canada's capital. The Museum's collection has more than 7000 pieces.
The Canada Agriculture Museum is located south of downtown at the Central Experimental Farm. The museum is a real farmhouse in the middle of the city of Ottawa. With indoor exhibits and many outdoor activities, the museum showcases Canada's agricultural heritage. Visiting the Canada Agriculture Museum is ideal for all family members who will be able to participate in demonstrations (such as making and tasting maple syrup butter for example), meet horses, attend milking cows, etc. while learning about agriculture, animals and food from Canadian farms.
The Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada is just a few steps south of Parliament Hill. The museum's exhibitions trace the origin of money in different cultures. The Museum houses the largest institutional collection of Canadian currency and monetary objects in the world and tells the story of the Canadian currency from pre-colonial times to the present day. The museum houses some of the rarest Canadian and international coins and coins.
The Virtual Museum of Canada is the result of a partnership between Canadian museums and the Department of Canadian Heritage. It is an interactive space that brings together the collections and treasures of Canadian museums and presents them online. The website features virtual exhibitions, an image gallery, learning resources and innovative collaborative projects. The Virtual Museum of Canada offers a collection of high quality online heritage content that brings together, in innovative and dynamic ways, the stories and treasures that are entrusted to Canadian museums.
A collection of my photos from the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa: